Board of Directors


Alena Wickware 


Alena Wickware joined the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association as a summer student in 2012, providing support to members and the public on behalf of CHHA. In 2013, Alena was hired as the Project Manager of CHHA’s National Speechreading Program, an initiative developed to train new speechreading instructors in 6 major cities across Canada. Currently, Alena Wickware helps in a number of capacities, currently sitting as the elected President on the NCR Board of Directors, helping to organize Walk2Hear 3 years in a row, and assisting with many aspects of operations for the association as needed.

Alena is a graduate of Carleton University; she has an Honours Degree in Social Work and a minor in American Sign Language (ASL), graduating with high honours for academic achievement. In addition, she also holds a Diploma for the Social Services Worker program from Algonquin College with experience from numerous volunteer and paid positions from a range of community and social services organizations. Alena is called in as a guest lecturer at Carleton University to speak about ASL on many occasions throughout the year.

Alena lives with a progressive form of sensorineural hearing loss that is linked to family heredity, wears two hearing aids, speechreads and uses ASL as needed to communicate. Alena was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario and currently resides there.


Margaret Rapkoski


Margaret Rapkoski is currently sitting as an interim Vice-President until the next CHHA NCR election.

Margaret has worked for over twenty years in management with Human Service Organizations predominantly with people who have a  dual diagnosis (mental health/developmental/barriers to independence).  Her approach has always been person-centered and wholistic. To support wellness, Margaret created, owned and operated 'The Herbal Hub', a business where custom-tailored herbal teas were prepared for a variety of ailments.  She has paired this with her Reiki Master Certification providing Balancing Reiki Treatments to a myriad of people.

Margaret lives with a hearing impairment and wear two aids to support communication.  She initially learned about the CHHA NCR Branch when she participated in the Speechreading Course provided in the spring of 2016 and felt this was insightful and also an opportunity to meet other people and connect.

Today, Margaret works Free-lance with Service Coordination Services, Ottawa working one on one with adults and their family/circle of supports.

Continuous studies in Wholistic Therapist courses which emphasize functional/natural medicine and life coaching.


Marie-Claire Gratton


Marie-Claire Gratton is currently sitting as an elected Member at Large on the CHHA-NCR Board of Directors.

Marie-Claire is a member of CHHA in good standing since 2007 and she is motivated to make a difference in her community. She has been hard of hearing since she was 17 years old, and she received an auditory brainstem implant powered by Cochlear in 2001.

Marie-Claire pursued degrees in psychology, gerontology, social work (Master level) and public administration at the University of Ottawa. She is now working full time for the federal government in human resources. Disability rights and mental health are important to her, as she is focusing more on helping with those initiatives; she feels that working more with CHHA is a win-win solution.


Karla Wilson


Karla Wilson joined the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association as a summer student in 1993. Throughout the years, she has worked in a number of jobs within the association. Currently, Karla Wilson is the Executive Assistant for the association and currently maintains the CHHA National Office as well as provides assistance to the Executive Director, CHHA Board of Directors and the Branches and Chapters across Canada. Karla is currently sitting as the elected Treasurer on the NCR Board of Directors.

Karla is a graduate of the University of Guelph with an Honours Degree in Economics and Management Economics. In addition, she also holds a Diploma in Regulatory Law Administration from Algonquin College and a certificate in Effective Meeting & Event Planning. Karla currently resides in Winchester, Ontario with her husband and two sons.

Member at Large

Christina J. Boakye-Gyan

Christina is a fourth year student at the University of Ottawa working towards graduating with a Joint Honours Bachelor in Psychology and Linguistics. 

She is learning sign language and hopes to one day be able to become a speech reading instructor. 

Originally from Mississauga, Christina has moved to Ottawa for school.

After she finishes her undergraduate degree, Christina hopes to pursue a Masters in audiology and continue to help those with hearing loss throughout her career.